Cuba Gooding Sr., 70s Singer and Father to Cuba Jr., Dead at 72


Cuba Gooding Sr., a popular soul singer in the 1970s and father of Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr., died Thursday, according to multiple outlets. He was 72.

Gooding Sr. was found slumped over in his silver Jaguar, which was parked on a street in Woodland Hills, CA, according to TMZ. The fire department responded to the scene and attempted CPR, but could not resuscitate him.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office told KABC in Los Angeles there were several bottles of alcohol, as well as drug paraphernalia, found in the vehicle.

Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations at the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, told the Los Angeles Daily News that surveillance video showed Gooding Sr.’s car pulling up to the area around 3:30 a.m. Thursday morning.

Gooding Sr. was the lead singer of the band The Main Ingredient, which was best known for the hit song, “Everybody Plays the Fool.”

He was married to wife Shirley Gooding twice; they separated in 1974 only to get remarried again in 1995. The couple had four children: actors Cuba and Omar, daughter April, and another son, Tommy, who is a musician.

Gooding Jr. spoke of his father during an episode of Inside the Actors Studio that aired earlier this year.

“I remember, one of my earliest memories … he would perform at Disneyland, and after his performances, they would close it off to the general public and all the performers’ kids would go on the rides as many times as they’d want,” Cuba remembered. “He would pull me up on stage with him and make me finish the song because I’d seen him perform all the time. It was a lot of feeling like, ’I come from royalty.’”

Gooding Sr. would have been 73 next week.

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